Candles glow bright in memory of George Aldrich

By Troy Hooper
Real AspenDecember 16, 2010
Across the country last night, candles illuminated the memory of George Aldrich — the young man found dead beneath the Maroon Creek Bridge just weeks after he moved to Aspen from Rhode Island.

His father George Sr. and brother Sean were on hand for a candlelight vigil in Aspen. They flew back here after Aldrich's body turned up under the bridge following an extensive two-week search for the 28-year-old.

In memory of George Aldrich ...


Candles were also lit in Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Texas, North Carolina, California, New York, Ohio, Georgia, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia and other locales where the story of the missing man had captured hearts and weighed heavily on minds.

“My friends and I lit candles in Antibes, France, last night for George and his family,” Avalon Vorisek wrote on a Facebook page dedicated to the search and now memory of Aldrich. “I have a friend here who knew George and said he was a great friend with an incredible personality. We wish you all the best and hope he sees how many candles are burning for him all around the world.”

Aldrich disappeared the night of Nov. 27 after getting off at the wrong bus stop. He lived in an employee housing unit in Snowmass Village but mistakenly exited at Truscott just before 10:30 p.m.

A trio of Mountain Rescue Aspen searchers finally located Aldrich's body on Tuesday, not far from where he was last seen. He was found partially covered in snow beneath the bridge. Search and rescue crews said the rough terrain and man's clothing camouflaged him from their view. It was hard to see him from even six feet away, they said.

In a statement, Pitkin County Deputy Coroner Audra Keith said her office determined that Aldrich accidentally fell to his death, possibly through a small gap between the old Maroon Creek Bridge and the new one, which are side by side near the entrance to Aspen and a short walk from Truscott. Officials are reevaluating the safety of the bridges.

Authorities believe Aldrich fell a distance of about 100 feet.

“The injuries sustained indicate he died instantly on impact. A fall from this height is universally non-survivable,” the coroner's statement read.

Toxicology results also showed that Aldrich's blood alcohol level was .294 — which is more than three and a half times Colorado's threshold for being under the influence (.08) and almost six times that of impairment (.05).

“This information will be listed as a contributing factor to the death of Mr. Aldrich,” Keith wrote.

Aldrich worked as an operator at the Village Express chairlift in Snowmass. He moved to the Aspen area to snowboard after developing an affinity for Colorado while attending Johnson & Wales in Denver.

He additionally attended LaSalle Academy, a Catholic prep school in Rhode Island where his father is the dean of admissions. Aldrich also did quite a bit of acting. He worked as a news anchor for a TV show called “Kidswatch” at the age of 12 and went on to work in a handful of independent films, according to his family members.

A wake and mass for Aldrich is scheduled in Rhode Island in the coming days.

comments: 4 Comments on "Candles glow bright in memory of George Aldrich"

brooke a – Dec. 17, 2010, at 7:14 a.m.

Thank you Troy for all the articles you wrote about my little brother. It was comforting to know that we could always count on you to report fairly. Not trying to spin or slant our words like every other report. We often would save your articles for last.

In regards to Georgie's alchohol level, He was not a big drinker (if ever). He was coherent and had conversations with people that nice on the shuttle. No one mentioned he seemed intoxicated at all. People fail to mention that his body had been decomposing for 2 and a half weeks producing ethanol, which is also increases the BAC level. Also, considering the elevation we are told this makes a few beers hit you much harder and being out in the cold could make him dizzy a lot faster.

Regardless, my little brothers death is a tradgic accident that has forever changed my family. I was blessed to be his sister for 28 years. We are greatful he was taken swiftly and in the place he called paradise. We know he will forever watch over us from the heavens. I pray they fix the bridge, so this will never happen to another family.

Thank you for your great reporting and to the wonderful people of Aspen who opened their hearts to my brother and family. We will never forget the kindness that was shown to us from perfect strangers. It is no wonder Georgie loved Aspen.

God Bless

Boo – Dec. 18, 2010, at 8:52 a.m.

My sympathies to the family of such a wonderful brother, son & friend to so many. Such a loss for so many ... Blessings to your family.

Troy – Dec. 18, 2010, at 10:31 a.m.


Thank you for the kind words.

And you are correct: Ethanol levels do rise in decomposing bodies. It's unfortunate the coroner's report did not mention that fact or say whether it had factored into their findings. Had that been done, the media might have reported the toxicology results in better context.

My heart goes out to you and your family. This tragedy will not be forgotten in Aspen. Eternal blessings to all of you during this holiday season and beyond.

Mary J. – Dec. 21, 2010, at 2:43 p.m.

Brooke -- I am deeply sorry for the loss of your brother. When I first heard about this story, I watched so closely .. the news, Facebook, everywhere I could. I asked my General Manager in Colorado to tell me if he heard any new news day by day... I too am a sister, of a wonderful brother like yours...and I cannot begin to imagine the pain and suffering you are feeling right now. Life takes us through so many different emotions, but this one is never an emotion anyone wants to feel..ever. I pray for you and your family, and did throughout the whole ordeal. Now I pray for peace and some way to move through this, the holidays, and the coming years. Brooke if you need anything, you email me.

Forever youre in my prayers ~

Mary J.

Comment Form Info  Comment Information
Real Aspen encourages you to post comments on our articles and blogs. Logged in email is required for monitoring purposes. Your email will not be published and will not be distributed to any third-party. Abusive, obscene, profane, threatening, libelous or defamatory comments are prohibited. By posting a comment, you agree to this policy and our terms of use. To report an abusive posting, please contact us.

To make a comment, please log in or create an account. This helps us prevent spam and other malicious attacks.

Please log in to comment


Create a user account to comment

Snow Report

  24hr snow mid dpth snow cond.
A-Basin n/a n/a
Aspen n/a n/a closed
BC n/a n/a closed
Breckenridge n/a n/a closed
Buttermilk n/a n/a closed
Copper n/a n/a closed
Crest. Butte n/a n/a closed
Eldora n/a n/a closed
Heavenly n/a n/a closed
Highlands n/a n/a
Howelsen n/a n/a closed
Keystone n/a n/a closed
Kirkwood n/a n/a closed
Loveland n/a n/a
Monarch n/a n/a closed
Northstar n/a n/a closed
Powderhorn n/a n/a closed
Purgatory n/a n/a closed
Silverton n/a n/a closed
Ski Cooper n/a n/a closed
Ski Granby n/a n/a closed
Snowmass n/a n/a closed
Steamboat n/a n/a closed
Sunlight n/a n/a closed
Telluride n/a n/a closed
Vail n/a n/a closed
WinterPark n/a n/a closed
Wolf Creek n/a n/a closed
More Weather Reports
A teaser to the Winter X Games in Aspen
Methane from Bill Koch's coal mine powers Aspen Skiing Company
'Circle of Corduroy'